how is the healthcare system funded in pokemon, they must either have some sort of state which taxes the little shops which sell you ether and repel and shit or it’s some gigantic mutualist utopia or something
in pokemon black and white pokemon walmart and pokemon hospital are in the same building making it very clear they take place in america
the pokemon world’s economy is eccentric, but there are clear signs towards the existence of state power: ie, the fact that there are police. imo, all signs point to a utopian post-capitalist society that has only operated under its current mode for perhaps two generations. this reorganization of society was not precipitated by any revolution or even conscious political action, but rather the natural result of reforming the pokemon leagues and the systematic cataloging of pokemon and their capabilities thanks to professor oak’s pokedex.
throughout pokemon world’s history, pokemon have been used by humans to achieve things that they couldn’t do personally. indeed, as per Klink, Voltorb, Trubbish et al, new pokemon species will develop sympathetically to human society. however, forming a Bond between human and pokemon was significantly more difficult and required either the long-term taming of a pokemon raised from its juvenile evolutions or (more recently, within the last 700 years) the use of apricorn pokeballs, which were difficult to obtain due to the difficulty of cultivating apricorn trees. add to this the fact that pokemon at higher evolutionary tiers are less disposed to obey humans unless they’ve somehow proved their worth, and the vast majority of human owned pokemon would be placid, domesticated types and otherwise low power species. more powerful species and legendaries would only attach themselves to humans in dominant positions: kings, warlords, and so forth, and these pokemon would be bloody engines of war (see: pokemon conquest).
this feudal society evolved into a capitalist one thanks to the inception of the leagues. initially little more than the equivalent of a village cock-fighting ring. particularly adept trainers would find themselves able to make a living betting on the results of pokemon battles however, and would travel from village to village, challenging the best the locals could muster. eventually, they would make enough to retire, and many founded pokemon “gyms”, schools and dojos where people could pay to learn from them and perhaps even challenge them for status. the influence and wealth and gym leaders became such that they de facto controlled their town. this obviously drew the ire of the nobility, who attempted to crack down, but the gyms formed together into leagues and mounted a successful defense. the nobles were forced to play ball with the league, or else were replaced by them.
the resultant society was perhaps more “fair”, it operated under a meritocracy of a sort. anyone who was able to tame or catch a decent selection of pokemon, and challenge the league to make themselves known, could achieve high status and wealth. becoming league champion is, in its way, just as arbitrary an achievement as winning a war: enough to satisfy powerful pokemon’s desire for a competent master. a broader array of pokemon entered “common” use and could be directly leveraged to fulfil the requirements of a larger, more egalitarian dominant social strata, specifically in terms of construction and manufactory. this spurred the equivalent of the pokemon world’s industrial revolution.
it wasn’t really fair of course, the children of gym leaders and former nobles, those who possessed land to hunt pokemon on. These people all tended to have better access to pokemon, and the money to buy apricorns. but there was no mass movement in the pokemon world equivalent to socialism. the majority of pokemon world’s people were still largely agrarian, the use of pokemon made the patterns of land enclosure and mass employment as laborers seen in our world unnecessary.
the world carried on much as before until about 60-70 years ago (i’m basing this timing on the fact that some older trainers, such as Draden, suggest that they tamed their original pokemon rather than catching them) when Silph Co invented the mechanical pokeball. they could be manufactured in massive numbers and, more importantly, it could be done very cheaply. suddenly everyone could have pokemon, lots of pokemon. not just a couple of Flaafy that you trained over your entire life, but dozens of the damn things, of every conceivable type, even ones previously considered dangerous like Arcanine and Dragonite.
suffice to say, this shook things up some. the leagues adapted quickly though, incorporating increased democratization and overhauling their structures to fit with the new paradigm. it may perhaps seem odd that the leagues acquiesced in most respects to popular political demand, but we have to bear in mind that these were compromise measures: any nation that didn’t adopt the mechanical pokeball was going to fall behind, as mass pokeball ownership exponentially increased industrial capacity, and it was better that than face a real uprising from one of the new dangerous criminal and terrorist organizations who were able to quickly gain power by stealing pokemon (previously virtually impossible). the founding of the International Police around this time shows how seriously the leagues took the threat from Teams.
the new economy has, since then, gradually become divorced from capitalism. power, food, technology and consumer goods are all easily produced with the assistance of pokemon. they have become so cheap to produce that they may as well be free. the only form of poverty exists among the sick and disabled, who can’t catch or train pokemon, and that’s why social safety nets like nationalized healthcare have been broadly adopted. they are paid for by heavy taxes on “pokemon products” (potions, pokeballs, etc) which remain the only goods with any real cost outside of really specialized luxury goods. this is why in black 2 you don’t get paid money for starring in movies; you instead get rare items and pokemon products from your fans.
most money probably doesn’t even come from jobs, since you need very little of it to keep yourself comfortable. money is kept in circulation mostly through pokemon battles, since trainers are the only ones that really need it (this is what allows Veterans to make a living as trainers also). this isn’t to say that access to resources is equal, far from it! certain old families still have more at their disposal (and more potent pokemon breeding stock). thus rich boys and ladies.
efficiency is only increasing since the development of the pokedex. while most pokemon species were discovered already, the pokedex allows detailed demographic information to be collected, making it easier for people to catch the pokemon they really want. it’s also led to stronger understanding of type interactions, see: the discover of dark and steel types (fairy type is still in peer review). since the pokedex was invented the world has been hyper-modernized, and now teleporters, maglev trains and the like are a reality. this is not a coincidence.
your average citizen in pokemon world is schooled until age 10-12 or so, and then begins a pokemon journey. they bond with various pokemon, and those pokemon determine what career they will have, by social convention. some jobs don’t require pokemon, but these are probably less prestigious outside of management roles. most of them will challenge and beat at least a few gyms. the gym leaders maintain several rosters to provide an appropriate challenge depending on the number of badges their opponent already has. their own personal team will see next to no use in an official context.
not many people challenge the elite four, the top trainers that are part of the league, but doing so is considered very impressive. again, the elite four don’t use their best teams, they’re mostly battling children here. becoming a region “champion” will qualify a person for a gym leader position or a role in something like the battle institute, with membership in the elite four or even as the sitting champion themselves being a remote possibility for the future. the actual champion champion, the one you challenge, is determined by the elite four fighting among themselves and appointing the winner. they then replace the empty slot from among the gyms.
yes, it’s possible to essentially join the government of a pokemon world nation by being really good at cockfighting. don’t forget, it’s widely believed (apparently sincerely) that a person who is a good trainer also necessarily has other positive attributes, so this isn’t that weird. and it seems plausible that the league trainers are supported by a larger bureaucracy that handles much of the day to day administration.
in conclusion: jesus christ i hate myself